XR1200 Owners Group banner
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Call me excessive compulsive - I usually get my oil analyzed. The reports are pretty self explanatory. These are results from Blackstone Laboratories for the HD 20W50 (not synthetic) oil in my XR1200 at 1,000 miles:



It gives a nice look at what is going on in the engine, and their comments are usually helpful re what is happening with regard to wear patterns, without opening up the engine all the time.
 

Attachments

G

·
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Interesting. One of the first things that stuck out to me was the flashpoint of your 1000mi break in oil was over 400 degrees.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thats interesting plus, Ive been riding motorcycles since 1976 (I know Im getting tired now :rolleyes:) when I turned sixteen which is the legal age to get a bike licence over here and Ive never thought of getting my oil tested nor have I heard any of my mates doing that either, I think its a great idea.:tank:
 

·
Warning! Fat people are harder to kidnap.
Joined
·
1,373 Posts
That flashpoint is normal for nonsynthetic oil. Mobile one flashpoint is 518 degrees. I don't think the flashpoint is that big of deal because it requires air to burn and there is no air in the oil lines hopefully. I just feel that synthetics give more protection at higher temps. I don't go over 2500 miles even on synthetic oil. Clean oil make for a happy motor. :D Later,
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
400 is purported to be the minimum value to avoid high consumption due to vaporization.

Amsoil (synthetic) claims 464

Mobil V-Twin (sysnthetic) is supposedly 518
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't understand why they put in non synthetic oil in this XR engine...the engine is certainly pushed close to it's limits...

there is really no need for synthetic oil in standard low turning HD-engine...as even the modern non synthetic oils aren't that bad!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,659 Posts
I don't understand why they put in non synthetic oil in this XR engine...the engine is certainly pushed close to it's limits...
quote]

COST! Think about the numbers - if the synthetic cost $5.00 quart more and they sell 25,000 bikes with 4 quarts total alloted to each bike that's a HALF MILLION DOLLARS! And since the first oil change is at 1000 miles it would be overkill anyway.
 

·
WTF???
Joined
·
15,969 Posts
How much does it cost for an oil analization?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,912 Posts
I don't understand why they put in non synthetic oil in this XR engine...the engine is certainly pushed close to it's limits...
quote]

COST! Think about the numbers - if the synthetic cost $5.00 quart more and they sell 25,000 bikes with 4 quarts total alloted to each bike that's a HALF MILLION DOLLARS! And since the first oil change is at 1000 miles it would be overkill anyway.
Brilliant! And, obviously, the right answer....:clap:
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Underlying this all though is the fact that this is a 7,000 rpm bike in which the oil runs at under 300 degrees. Mine maxes at 275 and I try to keep it under 250. The initial analysis on this bike looks good. The oil has not broken down beyond the state of new automotive oil.

although I never let oil run over 2500 mile, the HD dino runs well in my softail too, which I spin fairly frequently to 7000 rpm (the crank is balanced and balancers are removed). The oil temps in that bike run the same as the XR1200. And while I had used synthetic in that bike for a while, I did not get good ring seal in one build in that bike using synthetic, and so went back to dino oil. It sealed fine in the next build using dino oil, and continues to wear better than the norms.

A long way of saying that that synthetic is great, but for a guy who changes his oil every 2500 miles or less, it doesn't appear to be needed in an HD. And, though I never believed it would happen, after having an issue with ring seal, I'm not at all a proponent of using synthetic during break-in.

jmho
 

·
Creaks When Walks...
Joined
·
172 Posts
Dino vs. Synthetic...

~

A long way of saying that that synthetic is great, but for a guy who changes his oil every 2500 miles or less, it doesn't appear to be needed in an HD. And, though I never believed it would happen, after having an issue with ring seal, I'm not at all a proponent of using synthetic during break-in.


Hallelujah, Phaedrus, Hallelujah!!! :clap:

Glad to hear you say that. So many people think I am flat-out NUTZ when I refuse to run synthetic oil until my bikes have 4,000 to 6,000 miles on 'em. I can't tell you the number of Honda's we built back in the late '80's and early '90's that when we ran synthetic in 'em early we had all sorts of ring sealing issues and excessive blow-by... Didn't matter what cross-hatch we used boring or honing them. Didn't matter if the bore was Nikasil'ed (in fact, often that was worse). We just never got proper ring sealing in four-strokes if we ran synthetic early or during break-in.

These days I run dino oil in a bike until I am absolutely sure the rings are sealing and wel broken-in before I switch to synthetic. With my BMW R1150R that wasn't until nearly 8,000 miles! :eek:

It had Nikasil liners and looking through a borescope I didn't see evidence of full break-in until then.

I run either Castrol GTX 20W-50 or Shell Rotella 15W-40 diesel dino for break-in on all my four-strokes (Castrol 20W-50 is in the XR right now, with the Rotella in my Hypermotard and Versys). Like you, I change oil quite frequently... Usually with a new bike at 100 miles, 500 miles, 1,000 miles, and then at 3,000, with normal oil changes coming every 3,000 miles after that. New cars I do at 500, 1,500, 3,000, and then every 3,000 after that.

I have used Mobil 1 5W-30 from the get-go in my new '09 Cadillac CTS-V, but that's only because that is the factory fill and my buddies at GM told me to stick with it. It went against my every instinct, but I figure they'll have to foot the bill if I don't think the rings are sealing... ;)

Anyway, just glad to see someone else who has had some... shall we say... *issues* with running synthetic oils early in the life of engines. :D

Thanks!

Dallara



~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Not a bad oil analysis at all. Shows that HD 20W50 isnt as awful as some would leave you to believe. No reason not to use it if you are changing at 2500 miles. But if you do want to run synthetic I would not worry at all about using it early. BMW's have chrome rings and take an extended break in period. With Harley engines, if you know how to break in an engine, the rings are pretty much seated by 100 miles. I have never had an oil use issue with synthetic in any Harley and I have never gone past 1000 miles before changing over. Many vehicles now come with synthetic from the factory including some HD CVO bikes.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Not a bad oil analysis at all. Shows that HD 20W50 isnt as awful as some would leave you to believe. No reason not to use it if you are changing at 2500 miles. But if you do want to run synthetic I would not worry at all about using it early. BMW's have chrome rings and take an extended break in period. With Harley engines, if you know how to break in an engine, the rings are pretty much seated by 100 miles. I have never had an oil use issue with synthetic in any Harley and I have never gone past 1000 miles before changing over. Many vehicles now come with synthetic from the factory including some HD CVO bikes.
machining procedures have changed a lot in the last 15 years. parts are "cut" way differently. per example piston rings...they are made so that in the very beginning they have a veryvery small contact face. this small seating wears in pretty fast in order to have good sealing in a very short time. Later, more and more surface breaks in.
I don't know how harley handles that but on modern day cars there is NO break in period at all. And just use the oil the manufacturer is recommending.

For me, all the break in procedures and stuff is way overhyped! Just drive normally in the first couple hundred km's and you're fine...it's not the seventies anymore...materials have changed...even in harleys lol...
I did the normal 1000mile service and still have the second oil in my bike at 3800miles...only had to refill 0,5 quarts last week. And my bike sees 7000rpm's all the time...

Still, good to see that the harley oil isn't so crappy like some want you to believe
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok, so I missed the 5000 mile oil analysis, which is probably just as well because I dropped a valve at about 5000 and had to have a head fixed. That coupled with the new cam install has extended "break-in" time in the engine. Still running dino oil, but this last 2000 miles I used Golden Spectro. So, here is Blackstone's look at the oil:



The short of it seems to be, if one is changing oil every 2000 miles, dino oil give more than adequate lubrication for the V-Twin. Plus, I still had the effects of engine break-in going on for several thousand miles. I'd be curious to see at the 9000 mile point if the engine surfaces, bearings, etc (including the new cam install) have completed "break-in", but I'll probably pull it back down for a compression change or another cam change, so these oil sample will probably not settle down to "normal" readings for quite a while.
 

Attachments

·
It aint no good locking the doors, when the madnes
Joined
·
7,311 Posts
Just for the record i serviced a 1989 Peugeot 1.9 liter diesel the other week that has done just over 300,000 miles and has been serviced 8 times in 20years, including 4 cam belts and two clutches, that's roughly 37,500 miles between oil changes, its a little tired now but still running.
Just good old 15/40 mineral diesel oil.
Sort of puts it into perspective dont you think. :rolleyes:
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just for the record i serviced a 1989 Peugeot 1.9 liter diesel the other week that has done just over 300,000 miles and has been serviced 8 times in 20years, including 4 cam belts and two clutches, that's roughly 37,500 miles between oil changes, its a little tired now but still running.
Just good old 15/40 mineral diesel oil.
Sort of puts it into perspective dont you think. :rolleyes:
Dammmmmm I'd like to have seen the analysis of that oil! :D

Yep, and in the perspective line, the only reason I've been interested in this analysis stuff is that it shows that the lubricating properties of dino oil are more than adequate for a Vtwin (why not it's a 100 year old design) and the primary reason to change more frequently during the first several 1000 miles is because the engine surfaces are still mating in, i.e. the engine is still going through "break-in".

Oh, and for those worried about heat and breakdown, with a TBN still running in the high 7's, the dino oil is obviously holding together nicely under the normal operating conditions of the XR. So, a change to synthetic might be thought by some to be pretty, but to me it would be kind of like adding silicone to a 36D.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Phaedrus

Notice that the Golden Spectro has almost twice the Zinc and Phosphorus as the HD dino oil. The Golden Spectro obviously has a very strong additive package. I would stick with it.
 

·
Reputation points: -4
Joined
·
1,205 Posts
This is the thermal image looking straight down into the oil tank with the tank cap removed. This is after a pretty long, spirited ride. This is Harley Synthetic. It's at 201 F.
 
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top